The ability of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) cells to present antigen to antigen-specific T cells was investigated. B-CLL cells present herpes simplex virus (HSV) antigen and purified protein derivative (PPD) to HSV- and PPD-specific, interleukin-2-dependent T-cell lines in an antigen-specific manner. Treatment of B-CLL cells with the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced markedly increased levels of HLA-DR expression. TPA-treated B-CLL cells showed substantially more effective presentation, especially at low antigen concentrations, than did untreated B-CLL cells. By coculturing different allogeneic combinations of B-CLL cells and T cells and by adding anti-HLA-DR monoclonal antibody to cultures, it was found that antigen presentation by B-CLL cells was restricted by HLA-DR in the same way as for macrophages. We concluded from these experiments that B-CLL cells have a capacity to serve as antigen-presenting cells in an HLA class II-restricted fashion and that increasing the amount of HLA class II antigen and activation of B-CLL cells resulted in effective antigen presentation.
PMID: 2455565 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]